- Series: The Fall of Llael (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Pyr (June 4, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616147733
- ISBN-13: 978-1616147730
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael) Paperback – June 4, 2013
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"If you're a fan of dark, gritty military fantasy, [this] is the book for you. Ari Marmell is a superb writer, and he's at the top of his game in this first volume of The Iron Kingdoms Chronicles.... Fresh and different. And highly addictive."
- Adventures Fantastic
"Marmell’s characters are memorable and compelling, and his creativity and originality within the steampunk fantasy genre makes him a remarkable storyteller. This one is a keeper."
- Library Journal
“Fans of the game will not be disappointed…those unfamiliar with the gaming realm, (such as ourselves) we found the plot easy to engage into as the story pulls no punches in the ideals of steampunk fare... Marmell pulls off a fine tale that juxtaposes the action that fans of the Iron Kingdoms Chronicles have come to expect with a high-paced level of storytelling that make for an engaging read… Read In Thunder Forged to gain insight and a crucial edge into your next late-night journey into the realm of the Iron Kingdoms, or check it out if you’re just in the market for a good summer fantasy adventure!”
- Astro Guyz
About the Author
Ari Marmell (Austin, TX) is a fantasy and horror writer and the author of several original novels including The Goblin Corps and three Widdershins adventures, Thief’s Covenant, False Covenant, and Lost Covenant. He has also written gaming tie-in novels such as In Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael Book One) and worked as an author of role-playing game materials for games such as Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness line. Although born in New York, Ari has lived the vast majority of his life in Texas—first Houston (where he earned a BA in creative writing at the University of Houston) and then Austin. He lives with his wife, George; their cat; and a variety of neuroses. Visit the Widdershins page at facebook.com/Madeleine.Valois, and visit Ari at mouseferatu.com, at facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mouseferatu-Marmell/181576062390, or on Twitter @mouseferatu.
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Warning, spoilers follow here ... though again if you follow the same school of thought I do you're not reading this because you want to be entertained by the book, you're mining it for information for your campaign in which case whether or not you know what's going to happen in the book might not really matter to you ;) ... this book is a great resource if you're looking for in-depth information on any of the following:
- life in Llael just prior to Khador's invasion
- spies in Llael, i.e. the Cygnaran reconnaissance Service and Section Three of Khador (though much more emphasis is placed on the former than the latter in the book as far as a "fleshed out character" )
- military units within the Cygnaran army and the function of gun mages, arcane mechaniks, warjacks and to a lesser degree trenchers and long gunners within said army (I found this part of the book VERY helpful in terms of being able to "flesh out" such functions within the Cygnaran Army
in my campaign)
- storm knights.. or one particular storm knight anyways.. again, an element of the Cygnaran military.
To a lesser degree this will also show you Khadoran elements of the army ... widow-makers, Khadoran warjacks, man-o-war units.. in action but the focus is definitely on Cygnar's side of things.
The last part of the book is, to me, also extremely valuable speaking from the I.K. RPG setting viewpoint... it contains a two page summary of the Iron Kingdoms Cygnar, Llael at the point in time where it's being assaulted by Khador, Khador, Ord, the Protectorate.. as well as a summary of Cryx, Rhul (but oddly enough not Ios or where the Nyss Winter elves hang out) and the last bit about the year-long calendar was super helpful to me in that it defines what month fall ends and winter begins, winter ends and spring begins, et cetera for all four seasons ...
This isn't meant to be an attack on the other reviewer who obviously is entitled to his/her opinion but.. I was a bit confused at the reviewer's comment about the pages of the book being so thin that the book seemed to easily fall apart, was ripped, and so forth (though I have dealt with sellers in the past who have sent me books in damaged condition , not necessarily on amazon mind you .. in all but one of those cases I found that taking the time to contact the seller resulted in a prompt refund or discount ) ... Yes the pages seemed to be a bit thinner than those found in other books but I had no issues at all with the pages tearing on me or the book falling apart.. maybe that reviewer got a "factory-defect" copy of the book?
As far as whether or not the book itself is an entertaining read.. usually, I've found that that fictional novels written in an RPG setting (with the exception of the first nine Dragonlance novels in my opinion and to a lesser degree the Drizzt dark elf first novel ) are painful to read ... I think due to the fact that the writer is constrained by having to adhere to the "metaplot" events that take place in said campaign setting rather than having the freedom to write what the writer feels would be most dramatically appropriate for the story at the time (the Torg fictional novels were, to me, a perfect example of the writer being so handcuffed by the RPG material that the fictional novels in the setting, while a wealth of background info for the campaign, were particularly painful to read just to give one example)...
Having said that, I think one big reason people are such a fan of the I.K. setting (myself included) is the loving detail to what I.K. RPG'ers refer to as "fluff".. the background material that explains WHY things are the way they are in the I.K. sourcebooks , the "role playing" stuff that fleshes out the campaign world and "brings it to life" so to speak ... it's no surprise to me then that this book was not painful at all to read ... it's definitely not in the same category as say the best Stephen King novels (the Stand, Gunslinger), Wild Cards, Xanth earlier novels, Bio of a Space Tyrant, Dragonlance, Dark Sword Trilogy and so forth ... but, again, this review is geared towards gamesmasters looking for additional info to flesh out their I.K. campaign, not people looking for a good book to read just for the book's own sake so to speak. I remember reading one review from a fan of the I.K. sourcebooks who ripped on the book for the characters being too one-dimensional, the plotline being boring et cetera and I'm certainly not going to begrudge that person the right to his/her own opinion... But, I can 100 percent firmly state with utter conviction that this is great source material for someone looking for info to flesh out the "Cygnar" aspect of their I.K. campaign!
I would snatch up another Iron Kingdoms book by Marmell in a second, should one appear.
This is my favorite Iron Kingdoms book I have read thus far.